Follow our product manager Luke's expert advice on kitchen mixer taps. He reveals some of his favourite designs and explores their benefits
Where new kitchens are concerned, most people agonise for hours over the larger items, such as furniture, worktops and appliances. It’s all too easy to overlook certain smaller details, such as taps. But these are one of the most frequently used items in the kitchen (especially with so many of us still working from home). Think how often you use yours to wash your hands,
fill the kettle or rinse the dishes. So, if you’re thinking of splashing out on new taps, it really is worthwhile doing some research on the best options available. Mixer models – in which the hot and cold water flows from the same spout – are hugely popular. Our product manager, Luke Shipway, explores all their benefits and showcases some of his favourites:
Before kitchen mixer taps were invented, hot and cold water spouts were completely separate. This segregation was designed to prevent contamination through cross-connection. Cold water, which was fit for drinking, was provided from a mains supply however hot was provided by a local storage cistern. This was usually located in the loft. It was not considered safe to drink, hence water bylaws preventing any mixing.
What was the result? Burn or freeze…Thankfully, times have moved on and most people have converted to the convenience of kitchen mixer taps. These combine the flow of water into one stream before delivering it operated by a single lever or two separate handles. Our stainless steel Frampton model now comes in a new, muted antique brass finish, which will complement a classic in-frame or painted kitchen perfectly.
The history of the tap
I think the undeniable advantage of kitchen mixer taps – especially models with a single lever – is that they’re so easy to use. With our Frampton for example, there’s no need to fiddle with two separate levers to achieve the optimum blend of hot and cold water. And, importantly, there’s no need to tighten the handle to stop the water flow. This model operates via a rotating ball, which moves back and forth and away from the body of the tap. So, it’s easier to turn on and off and pick hot and cold water. I think this kitchen mixer tap is especially suitable for children, the elderly or anyone else who struggles with their grip.
Another take on the traditional kitchen mixer tap is the dual control version. This has two levers – one for each tap to choose which temperature you require. However, you shouldn’t confuse this with dual flow models. These also provide one stream of water, although the hot and cold flows separately within the body of the tap. They are ideal if you have unequal pressure between both supplies.
Dual control models
Not all kitchen mixer taps look sleek and modern. So, you don’t have to forgo traditional styling, even if you’re a fan of modern functionality. Our Putney Bridge Dual Control Tap is ideal in classic kitchen settings, and looks particularly stylish with a Butler or Belfast sink. There are four different finishes to choose from: stainless steel, blackened copper, antique brass, and polished brass.Our Putney tap features a striking bridge design and quarter turn ceramic valves. It oozes timeless style and will fit any traditional kitchen décor.
Yet another advantage of modern kitchen mixer taps is that you’re likely to use less hot water when combined in a single flow. That’s because most models are fitted with a flow limiter, to prevent too much water coming through all at once. You’ll find this could translate into lower energy bills, which benefits your bank balance and the environment.
Other advantages of the kitchen mixer tap
Three-in-one steaming water taps, such as our Vapos model, go one step further. This supplies fresh cold, regular hot and filtered 98˚C steaming water. You can use the latter for so many things, from making tea (up to 100 cups an hour!) to speeding up the cooking time for pasta. A new standard of water filtration ensures scale and acidity control for increased boiler protection. And it uses less electricity than a 40W light bulb. Our Vapos 2 three-in-one hot water tap is a multi-tasking marvel, delivering cold, hot and filtered steaming water on demand.
If you’re keen to make a serious statement in your kitchen, look no further than our new Joya 3in1 Hot Water Tap. This eye-catching swan-neck tap features separate dial controls that are set into the worktop. It’s a striking model which offers all the benefits of the classic Vapos model, presented in a striking gold finish. (GM, CO, BS, SS) It includes a cool touch spout and a separate flow for steaming water. Our Joya 3-in-1 Hot Water model taps into the metallic trend with a gleaming gold finish.
A number of our modern kitchen mixer taps, such as the Ardor Puriti, offer filtered cold water. This immediately reduces the effect of impurities during food prep and improves the flavour of tea and coffee. This tap works by removing the majority of chlorine from tap water, along with particulates, rust, heavy metals and pesticides. A scale inhibitor also reduces the build-up of limescale, prolonging the life of your kettle.
Filtered water taps
Our Ardor Puriti Filter tap is a single flow model featuring a fluid monobloc design. Its polished chrome finish adds serious designer appeal to any kitchen sink.
I think our Harlo Puriti Black Steel Filter Tap is another great filter tap option. Black has become a popular colour option for kitchen sinks and accessories and taps are proving no exception. Filter models seem set for further growth, as more and more people demand filtered water and strive to reduce the
environmental impact from plastic bottle versions. Did you know that a Caple water filter tap can produce 6,000 litres? To buy this amount in plastic bottles would cost you around £3,800. So, a filter tap can save you serious amounts of money and reduce the amount of plastic you consume
Our Harlo Quad Puriti tap in stainless steel includes a handy scale inhibitor, to reduce the build-up of limescale in your kitchen appliances.
Some kitchen mixer taps incorporate a practical pull-out function. These allow you to reach all parts of your sink and can make cleaning a breeze. This type of tap, such as our Aspen Pull-Out model, features a flexible ‘hose’ which greatly extends its movement. This type of tap allows better, targeted water direction for rinsing food and dishes and greatly facilitates tasks such as filling vases and bottles.
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